tl;dr: To increase our chances of eliminating millions of hours of wasted effort and avoidable frustration.
That Seems Lofty.
We’re a tiny startup, and still starting up — but we also have a history of trying to solve big problems for everyone, everywhere. With that in mind, let’s make some wild assumptions and estimates and see where they lead.
Imagine that every person working in your organization is forced to waste one hour per year dealing with red-tape and bureaucracy that serves no purpose and achieves nothing. We’re not talking about rework (which may not be avoidable) or administrative work (like time sheets that I may not want to do but which the organization needs for a good reason). This is completely avoidable wasted time and effort. Useless meetings might be a good candidate for this example. What if we collected evidence that the use of a five line checklist could eliminate one wasted hour from a person’s year? This is plausible: evidence-based checklists have been used to dramatically increase safety and quality in domains ranging from aerospace to manufacturing to medicine. Why not in management or meetings?
What would happen if one person in one thousand adopted that checklist? At such a small adoption rate and with such a small savings, the impact would be small change for any one organization and any single individual. But consider the global implications. There are about three billion people in the worldwide labour pool. Continuing our wild assumptions, imagine only half of them experience the red-tape induced waste we mentioned. With a 0.1% checklist adoption rate the global impact would be...
1.5 million hours of waste reduction per year.
That's 171 years of saved time and effort, or two long lifetimes of frustration elimination. And what if our research turned up evidence for a up a way to save another hour? Or the checklist actually eliminates an average of 10 hours of waste - one for each person in the meeting? Or had a 1% adoption rate? Or affected 75% of the workforce? At these scales the impacts are vast. Measure the consequences in economic terms, ecological terms, or emotional terms - this kind of discovery could make a real difference.
Great. So What?
At it's core, MicroMarketplace exists to strengthen managers. This is not because we love managers (though we do), or feel sorry for them (though we do). It's because managers profoundly affect working conditions and performance. Making it easy for managers to connect with expert advisors is the first step: one hour of on-demand, experience-based advice can make a lot of lives better. We also know that experience can only take you so far down the path to better conditions and better performance. In large part this is because humans are not rational: competent people with good intentions routinely make decisions that cause harm. To take the next step, managers to incorporate evidence-based practices into their work. We want to be make it easy for managers to do just that.
Title edited on 24Feb2015 from 'is getting' to 'will get'.